A downloadable Chinese game called "The Incorruptible Warrior" is an unexpected success -- something attributed to Chinese exhaustion and frustration with official corruption. In the game you're a civil servant out for blood, torturing and executing corrupt officials.
What is so interesting about this game? After all, the executable file is only 78M, the pictures are crude, the scenes are spare, the copyright is suspect (because it borrows a great deal of material from other games), the lone server is unstable and the financial sponsor is the Communist Party Disciplinary Committee of the Haishu district in Ningbo city.
The reason for the public interest is that the hero of the game is a "honest and upright official" whose assignment is to weed out corrupt officials, along with their children and mistresses. Here 'weed out' does not 'putting in jail' -- it means using weapons, wizardry and torture to kill them. There are 165 characters taken from history. On your side are the famous clean officials such as Hai Rui and Lord Bao. On the opposite side are the famous corrupt officials such as Zhao Gao, Huo Shen and others who exhibit different degrees of power (=corruption) as indicated by the gauge levels over their heads. When you kill a corrupt official, you gain experience points. For example, killing the eunuch official Wei Zhongxian gains you 100 experience points. As you accumulate points, you increase your powers for "Combatting corruption," "Moral character" and "Degree of being corruption free" instead of "life," "magic" and "strength" in other kinds of games. Your ultimate goal is to reach , where "the birds sing, the flowers give out fragrance, the people are full of love and harmony, the nation is prospering and the world is calm and peaceful."
You’d be forgiven for thinking the videocassette format long-dead, but it turns out that Betamax is still around. Sony is finally going to withdraw tapes from sale, bringing a 40-year story to an end. The last recorders were sold in 2002. ベータビデオカセットおよびマイクロMVカセットテープ出荷終了のお知らせ [Sony; via The Verge]
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